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This is an annotation thread for #TheFamily, the new doc series based on my books THE FAMILY & C ST. Context & behind the scenes w/ the most powerful & secretive Christian conservative organization in Washington from more than a decade of reporting. netflix.com/title/80063867
As ep 1 of #TheFamily opens, “First Brother” #DougCoe preaches about Hitler's "covenant," in what looks like a castle: Glen Eyrie. It belongs to The Navigators, a major evangelical ministry w/ which The Family has deep ties; Coe was a protégé of Navs founder Dawson Trotman...
The Navigators, like #TheFamily, were born out of Trotman's deep hatred for FDR's New Deal. He loved hierarchy & revered strength; "love," he taught Coe, means "Obey." That's why Coe's preaching here about Hitler & Mao...
#TheFamily like to say I take #DougCoe's words out of context, so here's more of the sermon w/ which #TheFamilyNetflix opens: "I’ve been in China, in Vietnam with the Vietnamese, the Vietcong, Communists in Panama, Communists in Russia, the Red Guard in China, Nazis in Germany...
Coe continues, "I discovered that the same things that they make people give vows to keep are the same things that Jesus said... The only thing that was changed was the goal... In essence, it was all the things that Jesus taught in private to the disciples." #thefamilynetflix
Coe cites one of his favorite scripture verses, Matthew 18:20, “When two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” “Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had..." #TheFamilyNetflix
What he’s trying to explain with this parable of "Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler," #DougCoe says, is the power of friendship: between a man and Christ, between brothers in Christ dedicated to a "social order." He's not a Nazi; he just admires their bonds... #TheFamilyNetflix
On screen in #TheFamilyNetflix, we see #DougCoe describing Mao's Red Guard chopping off heads of their mothers. Then: “If you’re gonna have any movement that moves men.. you have to have that kind of commitment. Jesus knew that. That’s the way the social order is run.”
"They will accuse me of betraying their trust," you see me saying at the start of #TheFamilyNetflix. After I published this article in @Harpers about them, one of the brothers told he'd had to talk another out of giving me a beating. Thanks, brother! harpers.org/archive/2003/0…
@Harpers Next we see Pulitzer-winning @latimes reporter @Lisa_Getter: "This was a group with tentacles aroudn the world." It was Lisa's breakthrough reporting that exposed #TheFamily's role as liaison between Reagan & Central American death squads. latimes.com/archives/la-xp…
@Harpers @latimes @lisa_getter Next we see a a document that reads, "Phase 2 Washington Leadership: A leadership led by God..." This is one of the thousands of documents I found in the 592 boxes #TheFamily--uninterested in its own history--dumped at the Billy Graham Center Archives: www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/G…
@Harpers @latimes @lisa_getter Now here's Congressman Mark Sanford, then SC guv, breaking the rules of #TheFamily's C Street by talking about C Street to absolve himself of a sex scandal. Here's the first of a week of #Doonesbury strips based on my reporting about it:
@Harpers @latimes @lisa_getter "Doin' the Lord's work in the Devil's playground," says former GOP Rep. Zach Wamp. Back when sex scandals exposed #TheFamily's C Street House, Wamp declared "I'm not going to be the guy who goes out and talks." That was before he began eyeing leadership of #TheFamily...
@Harpers @latimes @lisa_getter Defenders of #TheFamily point to its "bipartisanship." Here's an example: hard right GOP Rep. Zach Wamp received $2500 from anti-choice Dem. Rep. Bart Stupak. What they have in common? Bunkmates at #TheFamily's C Street House for congressmen.
@Harpers @latimes @lisa_getter And that's as far as I get tonight. Time to go for a late night run to get these stories out of my system. More tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in.
Picking up this annotation thread of #TheFamilyNetflix again. In a dramatization we see a man complain to #dougcoe about Muslims having “too many babies.” IRL, that was Rep. Todd Tiahrt, Republican of Kansas. #Islamophobia #bigotry
We see a #dramatization of #TheFamily's weekly ambassador's breakfast. The one I attended was led by Family leader and former Reagan attorney general -- and member of Trump transition team -- Ed Meese.
Meese, a longtime powerbroker btwn religious & social conservatives, is a leader of #TheFamily. As Reagan's AG, he was forced to resign after a special prosecutor uncovered his intervention on behalf of an oil pipeline for -- wait for it -- Saddam Hussein. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedtech_s…
When he was still attorney general, #TheFamily leader Ed Meese & #DougCoe developed a plan for channeling government $$ to "faith-based" projects - this wld become the blueprint for Faith-Based Initiatives, in large part a Family production. #annotatingTheFamily
In #TheFamily we see AG Meese presiding over an ambassador's breakfast. The one I attended included representatives of Benin's military dictatorship and Rwanda's dictator Paul Kagame. #annotatingTheFamily
Benin's dictator joined #TheFamily and introduced #DougCoe & Rep. Mark Siljander to Gaddafi. Siljander became a lobbyist for the dictator, whose connection to The Family also ran thru Sen. Jim Inhofe & defense contractor Titan, which funneled money to the dictator & the senator.
My wife's watching ep 3 of #TheFamilyNetflix so I'm jumping ahead w/ this annotation from my two books on which the series is based. I'll return to ep 2 later. But right now I need to talk about two things: Labor, and Nazis...
In #TheFamilyNetflix, we see Family publicist A. Larry Ross claim that Abraham Vereide founded the Family for the poor. That's just factually wrong. In fact, Vereide was turning away from working with the poor.
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